Americans – Prepare for Nonsense

America Prepare for War from USA Today 3-20-2015

Did you see the above advertisement in today’s USA Today? This quote from an article by Quassim Cassam on conspiracy theory thinking:

It is in the nature of many intellectual character traits that you don’t realise you have them, and so aren’t aware of the true extent to which your thinking is influenced by them. The gullible rarely believe they are gullible and the closed-minded don’t believe they are closed-minded. The only hope of overcoming self-ignorance in such cases is to accept that other people – your co-workers, your spouse, your friends – probably know your intellectual character better than you do. 

Whoever placed that ad needs some feedback, and needs to listen to it. That feedback should include pointing out that the form “numberous” is obsolete.

See also Hemant Mehta on apocalyptic interpretations of the eclipse.

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Gaming against Biblical Literalism

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  • The Babylonian Empire was definitely not the greatest in the world up to that time. The Hittite, Egyptian, Assyrian, and Nubian empires were all greater. The Babylonian Empire was a crummy, underpopulated, and weak empire with its only notable new conquests being in Western Arabia.
    The author of the rant suffers from a sadly typical case of Putin derangement syndrome. Also, the belief that Russia has any anti-American designs and that Russia has any military power comparable to that of the U.S. And the belief that America is a peaceful nation. And from refusal to read the Bible literally.

  • BTW, that Aeon article is a terrible one, reminiscent of Neil Godfrey’s writings on NT scholars, which I’ve always held with a fair grain of doubt, even though I do not know how to refute them.

  • Also, I yearn for the day when religious beliefs will be just as acceptable targets as conspiracy theories in the mainstream presses.

  • TomS

    “By the year 2050, 41% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ definitely (23%) or probably (18%) will have returned to earth.”

    Pew survey from July 14, 2010

  • One would have hoped that a person obsessed with carefully extracting clues from the Bible about the imminent demise of the world would have learned to spell “Ezekiel” correctly.